• Got a Light? Animal Kingdom

    By: Deb Wills and Jack Spence


    The Disney theme parks are all about the details, stories, and theming.  Each item you see plays a part in the story of the area.  The idea of this blog is to help open your eyes to one of the many details that surround you when you visit the parks. Little things we take for granted and don’t even notice, play a part in our overall enjoyment of the parks.

    The Animal Kingdom has a number of custom made light fixtures worth your attention.

    » IMAGE GALLERY: Creative Light Fixtures at Animal Kingdom

    At the tram loading area that we get our first taste of the fun lamps that populate the Animal Kingdom. If you look closely at these lights, you can see the park’s logo created out of metal and glass.

    The Oasis acts as a transition between the outside urban world and the land of nature and animals. In keeping with this natural theme, bamboo styles of lampposts are used in this area.

    Discovery Island was designed to tie all of the other lands of the Animal Kingdom together. In this “center” land, you can find a multitude of animals in all shapes and sizes. But the Imagineers didn’t want to convey any specific area of the world as this would detract from the other sections of the park. So they created a playful atmosphere – an almost cartoon-land of animals. This design lends itself to some of the most entertaining lampposts at Disney World.

    This first lamp is the “basic” fixture of Discovery Island and can be found throughout the area.

    At a first glance, the tower in the next picture looks like nothing more than ornamental decoration. But upon closer inspection, you can see the brightly colored banner actually houses a light. Be sure to take a moment and look at the intricate carvings on this pole. Numerous animals have been meticulously sculpted onto its surface.

    Over near Flame Tree BBQ are more fanciful lampposts. The first fixture features a spider and her web while the second displays another owl, but this time, we find bunnies on the lanterns.

    On the bridge that leads from Discovery Island into Asia we find this next lamppost. It has a decided Thai design.

    There are no lampposts along the Maharaja Jungle Trek. The only lighting here comes from stone lanterns that line portions of the path.

    That’s it for today’s tour. Next time you visit Animal Kingdom see if you can find these “lights” and discover some new ones on your own!

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deb Wills is the founder and webmaster of AllEars.Net (established January 1996), which also publishes the AllEars weekly e-newsletter. A veteran of numerous trips to Walt Disney World and Disneyland, Deb is an internationally recognized expert on these vacation destinations, as well as on the Disney Cruise Line. Deb actively participates in events designed to raise funds and awareness in the fight against Breast Cancer, of which she herself is a 25-year survivor. In addition to sponsoring Team AllEars, which participates in runDisney events while generating funds for this cause, Deb has participated in 11 Avon Breast Cancer Walks (both as a walker and a crew member), and has raised more than $325,000 since 2001.  Follow Deb on Twitter at @allearsdeb.